Four projects run to develop stem cell knowledge

April 19, 2022 - 16:50

TEHRAN – The Vice Presidency for Science and Technology has implemented four important projects in order to strengthen the country’s scientific citation in the field of stem cells.

One of the keys to the development is to provide strategic infrastructure in important fields. Smart knowledge-based platforms promote the scientific citation of the country and accelerate the formation of the scientific ecosystem.

The support of university technology development projects took place in a purposeful interaction between the Vice Presidency and the large universities.

Another measure taken in this area was supporting the development of the National Network of Animal Modeling and In-Vivo Research. This support has brought significant achievements including technologies for reproduction, keeping, and breeding of laboratory animals, the development of research and translation of knowledge and technology, and the development of technologies and laboratory services for in-vivo studies.

Another important step of the Council for Development of Stem Cell Sciences and Technologies last year was the establishment of a gene production center for the Royan Research Institute. During this process, two gene therapy projects became operational.

The launch of autophagy and regenerative medicine is also one of the plans supported by the Council last year. In this program, the management of the autophagy process in order to prevent tissue damage is recognized as a functional indicator of this plan.

Stem cells are the “parent” cells from which all other blood cells develop. These are mainly red blood cells, platelets, and white blood cells. Bone marrow, the factory that produces stem cells, is the soft tissue inside bones like the breastbone or hip bone. 

Stem cells are found in the brain, blood vessels, skeletal muscles, skin, the liver, bone marrow, peripheral (circulating) blood, and the umbilical cord blood of newborn babies.

Usually, very severe illnesses like leukemia, other cancers, and hereditary diseases are treated by marrow transplant.

Currently, over 7,000 knowledge-based companies are active in the fields of aircraft maintenance, steel, nanotech, biotech, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, oil, and gas are among the sectors that researchers in technology companies have engaged in.

The number of knowledge-based companies active in the field of stem cells and regenerative medicine increased to 160 with the improvement of the rules and incentive policies.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Technology and Innovation Report 2021 has placed Iran among upper-middle countries in terms of readiness for frontier technologies.

The index yielded results for 158 countries with the United States, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom receiving the highest scores on a scale of 0 to 1. Based on their rankings, countries are placed within one of four 25-percentile score groups: low, lower-middle, upper-middle, and high values of the index.

The report has put Iran in the 71st position with a total score of 0.46, higher than Qatar, Oman, and Morocco.

Iran was also placed 82 in ICT, 74 in skills, 37 in R&D, 130 in industry, and 53 in finance sectors.

Only a few countries currently create frontier technologies, but all countries need to prepare for them. To assess national capabilities to equitably use, adopt and adapt these technologies this report has developed a ‘readiness index’. The index comprises five building blocks: ICT deployment, skills, R&D activity, industry activity, and access to finance.

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